Reviewing the 6/9/11 episode of IMPACT Wrestling…
1. I have to wonder why Jeff Hardy is in the Impact Wrestling intro. He has clearly been off of television long before the switch to Impact Wrestling. It doesn’t really make much sense at this point for him to be even in one intro shot, let alone two.
2. Match introductions have just seemed weird since Christy Hemme has taken over. While obviously she is much better to look at than any announcer TNA was employing, but that’s a position for golden lungs and smooth announcing. It’s like they give her less to say so she doesn’t have to announce more. To me, point of origin and weight of the combatant is part of the intro of any superstar and should be given in most instances save for maybe the Knockouts. Her announcing style is definitely different and seems rather awkward/clumsy at times. She is much better as a backstage interviewer. Let JB do the announcing and keep Christy as the interviewer.
3. Even though Hulk Hogan would have us seem like he is turning over a new leaf in his opening mid-ring promo, further tension is thrown into the mix. While Mr. Anderson kept his focus 100% on Sting when he was called out, Sting was not doing the same for Anderson. Sting continued to push his mini-feud/focus back to Hogan and now hinted at Bischoff being the cancer that’s preventing the old Hulkster from returning. This would insinuate Mr. Anderson is not winning Sunday and that Sting’s agenda is bigger than any opponent they have facing him. In fact, it seems that Sting is putting his whole lifeline on that World Title which would indicate if he loses before getting things resolved with Hogan, that he would be in danger of just being released from Impact Wrestling. Paints things as a little too predictable for Sunday. Of course Sting left an opening when he added he isn’t leaving until his mission of Hogan & Bischoff leaving is complete. Or Hogan going back to the old Hogan and ditching Bischoff. That might be Sting’s new reason for sticking around if Anderson wins. Perhaps turning Hogan away from the dark side/Emperor(Bischoff) will be that mission. Perhaps that lack of focus may help make Anderson a winner. Although Sting needing to rebound from the loss to Gunner would also point back to Sting winning. I hope Anderson does win and will pick him, but my gut tells me differently. Still there is intrigue. I’ll give them that.
4. The Samoa Joe vs. Crimson bar fight was basically just Joe kicking the holy crap out of Crimson. However it might have made more sense for TNA to explain that while Crimson was lounging at a bar he was brutally attacked by Samoa Joe. This might have made a serious situation out of it instead of the announcers making light of how everyone is recording things on cell phones nowadays. I would have approached the segment differently. Played up a sneak attack by Joe and put a serious question on Crimson’s condition going into this Sunday putting the streak in jeopardy thanks to Joe’s cowardice. Joe already tried to sneak attack him last week, so it’s right in line with his character. That’s not to say that didn’t happen in TNA continuity. Like a lot of things, it wasn’t explained as properly as it could have been. Which might be where TNA voiceovers might come in more handy in post production as WWE has been known to do.
5. In two separate instances TNA kept weird segments where both the man behind the camera calling out to Jeff Jarrett in a squeaky odd voice and Kendrick calling out to Frankie Kazarian in a very strange pleading manner had me thinking of a little boy calling out to his cowboy hero “Come back, Shane. Come back.” Abyss booked a three way between himself, Kendrick and Kazarian for the now self-renamed X-Treme Title. Speaking of Abyss, with him keeping the Sun-Tzu Art of War book open while talking to Kazarian & Kendrick in the back made it look like he was reading his promo right from the book which he probably was. While the words and story do seem interesting, that was very strange.
6. Hopefully Karen Jarrett really will be gone for Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle’s match at Slammiversary. Jeff explained one last time why he has targeted Kurt Angle. He always stops short of the time he was gone in TNA and I thought he should have just came out and blamed Kurt Angle for almost running him out of the company when he began dating Karen. If he truly wanted to shoot, TNA should have gone there. But it was a solid segment. Kurt kept his words short and sweet. I don’t want to see Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting or Anderson, so hopefully this is it for Kurt to finally battle for the title again. Even if he leaves for the Olympics, TNA has the opportunity to get some quality title matches out of Kurt before he goes on sabbatical.
7. For TNA fans not following X-Plosion this Pope vs. Devon feud is a tad confusing. 2 weeks ago they showed Pope messing with Devon’s family at ringside. This week they show Pope saving Devon from a beatdown from Mexican America. However now Devon is talking about Pope messing with his family. What has that got to do with the footage shown this week? As far as we can tell Pope saved Devon and they would look like they could make a team. With no explanation of why Pope did what he did or Devon talking about maybe a “mock” save, what are we supposed to make out of this? Showing bits and pieces of a story from X-Plosion every 2 weeks is not going to help fans understand if it’s not well produced with a proper explanation from announcers.
8. Lines of the Night:
a. To Christy Hemme
Bully Ray-“Get out of the ring! Get out! You’re useless. You’re useless you bimbo and your cover of playboy sucked.”
b.Â On Velvet Sky & ODB
Taz-“Both of these ladies obviously have pretty good upper body strength if you get my drift, but ODB might just be a tad thicker.”
c. Comparing ODB to a chimpanzee at the Bronx Zoo during their match
Taz-“I mean the only thing she hasn’t done has thrown her feces at Velvet. And it’s still early enough for that to happen.”
d. Eric Young to Sting about their Main Event Tag Team match and Sting’s World title
EY-“Look, huge tag match tonight. When we win, if I pin you, you owe this to me. Then I’m gonna consolidate the belts. Then I’m going to be Intergalactic all planetary everything super supreme champion, bro. What do you think?”
9. Match of the Night:
TNA WORLD CHAMPION Sting and TNA TV CHAMPION Eric Young vs. Mr. Anderson and Gunner
Very slim pickings this week. The only match that gave this a run for it’s money was the Knockouts tag team match. That would be my personal pick except for the significance or potential significance of this match and what it may mean to a young superstar’s career. The major story from this match was Gunner’s huge pinfall victory for his team over the Stinger after an overly happy EY celebrated a bit too much until Gunner rammed him into Sting on the apron for a “tag” and Gunner proceeded to hit Sting with his finisher and pin him. Gunner had no follow up other than celebrating with Anderson and TNA didn’t even get words from him in the post-game Reaction type montage to end Impact Wrestling. However if played up as such in promos and announcers next week, hopefully Gunner can receive some major hype and a push from this match. Not a whole lot of great action on this show by any means. Angelina Love picked up the big victory for her and Winter over Mickie James and Tara when Madison Rayne came down to take out Tara. The distraction led to Angelina’s finisher and pin over the Knockouts Champ, Mickie. This segues nicely into their match this Sunday. Since I don’t want to pick ties on Match of the Night, I’ll go with the Main Event for it’s bigger significance.
10. Final Show Thoughts:
No TV time for Steiner/Morgan just a blurb plug for their match. The rest of the matches received hype, even if it was small in the form of a segment or match. Actually, for a go-home show before Slammiversary, this was very underwhelming. Usually TNA delivers solid shows going into the PPV weekend. I was a bit disappointed by the quality of not just the matches, since there was barely any worthy of speaking of, but the segments ranged from entertaining to bizarre to ho-hum. Even when things seemingly made sense like after a big victory, Mexican America storms Hogan’s office, it turns into a cry of racism and a possible face tease of Hulk Hogan instead of a title shot made for next week’s Impact. If there is a tease of Hogan turning face, then where are they going with Sting vs. Hogan? Are they going to turn it into Sting vs. Bischoff? Some odd twists. The show seemed to veer off track at times as well where proper explanations and focus clearly were needed, they weren’t given. Hopefully TNA delivers when it counts Sunday for Slammiversary.
IMPACT PLAYER of the WEEK:
Huge victory and with a rather weak edition of Impact Wrestling, he has the chance to come out the strongest if there is any good to be taken from this week’s show.
That is all.
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Tags: 10 Thoughts, AJ Styles, gunner, Hulk Hogan, impact wrestling, kazarian, kendrick, Kurt Angle, mr anderson, ODB, Samoa Joe, Sting, TNA, tna impact, TNA Wrestling, Velvet Sky